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Posted by: Georgi 

Dehydration is the result of less water and fluids in the body. If one does not drink enough water or any type of fluid they can suffer from Dehydration. This is normally brought on by vomiting and diarrhea. Dehydration is more common with children and babies, as their body weighs a lot less so there is greater turnover of electrolytes and water.

Dehydration can be a life-threatening condition, if not treated as an emergency. One can suffer from mild, moderate or severe dehydration, depending on the amount of fluids lost by the body, which is not replenished immediately.

Causes, incidence and risk factors:
The body loses fluids generally when one has diarrhea or severe bouts of vomiting. Urinating excessively due to consumption of diuretics or even if one has uncontrolled diabetes could be a cause. Other causes could be sweating profusely after exercise or due to unknown reasons. Fever could bring on this problem too.

Some people do not drink enough liquids especially if they suffer from
- Nausea
- Mouth sores or a sore throat
- No appetite especially after an illness

Children, when sick, refrain from eating or drinking liquids and foods and this leads to dehydration. Similarly, fever, vomiting and diarrhea can cause this condition.
Symptoms:
Dehydration could result due to various factors. Apart from vomiting and diarrhea, people feel nauseous and find it difficult to keep food down. The symptoms generally are a dry mouth, which also feels sticky. If one has dry or sunken eyes, this could bring about dehydration. The other symptoms are when the urine output is low and dark yellow in color. A marked depression on the soft spot on the top of the head or, “fontanel’s” of an infant is visible. One could also feel lethargic or comatose when in this condition.

Treatment
A mild case of dehydration can be corrected by drinking plenty of liquids. Small amounts, administered frequently with a teaspoon or syringe, should be given to infants or small children. If large amounts are forced, it could result in bouts of vomiting.

Freezer pops or taking electrolytes generally are good solutions. These can be purchased form pharmacies. Sport drinks as they are loaded with sugar and could cause diarrhea in a patient. The best liquid for children is water to replace the lost fluids. If the condition is moderate bordering on sever, it is necessary to hospitalize the patient and give them intravenous fluids.

Prognosis
Prompt action taken will set the problem of dehydration right in nearly all cases.

Complications
If action is not taken immediately, one could suffer from permanent brain damage or seizures, which could be fatal.

Prevention
Everybody should ensure that they drink plenty of liquids in the day, especially when one is exercising or in hot weather.
It is necessary to pay keen attention to babies, children and older people. At the first signs of dehydration occurring, inform the doctor to prevent the condition from worsening. It is best to take action when they observe bouts of vomiting or diarrhea. Check the urine output by examining the diapers or the frequency of running to the bathroom. Check if there are tears when a person is crying and look if there is saliva in the mouth, as these are ways to prevent the onset of dehydration.

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